This picture was taken from Skye, looking over the water to the tiny island of Scalpay. It captures a moment when sunlight, raindrops and my eyes and mind combine to create an experience of rainbow. While there is also a landscape, a seascape and a rickety gate, all of which would look different from another point of view, it’s the rainbow that fascinates me. Rainbows are personal – even when two people are standing side-by-side, apparently looking at the same rainbow, the image generated by each eye and mind is unique. We each see spectral light scattered through different water droplets at varying angles. The conditions for rainbow are shared, but any rainbow we perceive is our own.
And so it is with the words we read on a page – the same words make different sense to each reader, depending on their experiences and interpretation.
This page is about my attempts to write words that invite readers to reflect on how we each perceive the world, what we pay attention to and how this shapes our experiences of life and work. In short, it describes my writing activities and outlines where you can find them.
In many ways, I’ve always been a writer, enjoying writing letters, reports, emails, presentations and articles. In recent years, I’ve recognised that the process of writing completely absorbs me and that it is my most complete expression of myself. I simply love to write.
In truth, I write mainly for myself – writing helps me clarify my thinking and explore ideas, experiences and issues. When I put my words into the public domain, I do so in case it helps even one person make sense of their own experiences. Not so long ago, this wouldn’t have been possible – it remains quite difficult to get a book published. However, these days there are many ways to publish our words on digital platforms and I’ve taken advantage of this. I’ve also had the good fortune to access what I call ‘assisted self-publishing’ and get my books into print.
“You don’t write books for the money. You write books to stake your claim on whatever ground you want to own”Hugh MacLeod, cartoonist
Available as an ebook for different devices as well as a in print, spaciously laid out.
This book came about as I explored the field of dialogue. Inspired by the work of William Isaacs and others, as set out in Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together, I delved into the material and began to apply it in my life and work. Over time, I combined the approaches with embodied work and started to stake a claim to my own practice.
As I clarified my practice, I felt an increasing need for ‘something like a book’ to support and guide my clients to explore further. Pause for Breath is the result. In it, I explore how leadership conversations might change through bringing the practices of mindfulness and dialogue to them. I do this by sharing frameworks and experiences that have helped me have more impact in my own conversations.
This is a book for our times. It is for those who are searching for inspiration as they reflect on their leadership experiences and practice. It’s a collection of short pieces that invite you to connect with similar moments in your own life and work and to consider them more probingly. The book is meant to be read slowly – it is a written ‘thought for the week’.
Many of the narratives highlight the ‘gap’ between leadership aspirations and our ability to live up to them, and gently challenge you to hold yourself to account and to tackle this disparity. Throughout the book, you will be encouraged to make contact with your finest leadership spirit, and to anchor your choices in it.
Available as an ebook and audio book for different devices, and in print, beautifully laid out.
“I do not experience writing as a monologue. I experience it as a conversation. Writing raises questions…”Julia Cameron
Works in progress..
A new book in prospect...
For my third book, I’m returning to the theme of dialogue – my practice has continued to evolve and is distilling into a few central themes. I want to share this with others.
I also want to explore a sense that, societally, we’re becoming less tolerant of difference and less able (and perhaps less willing) to work with it skilfully. The practices of dialogue offer an antidote to this.
The working title of the book is: approaching difference differently.
For a number of years, I’ve been posting short reflective pieces on LinkedIn. I’ve also written pieces for other sites and for magazines.
Part of the reason for developing this new website was to create a personal medium for my posts. I’ve kicked things off by posting a few existing pieces so I could begin to learn how to use the software. I hope to be posting new stuff soon.